OP-ED: Top 5 Benefits of Sending You Kid To Camp

By Carolyn Lister and Kelley Ratcliffe

Do you remember your best summer ever? Did you make new friends who lived in a different town or attended a different school? Did you go on your first overnight and sleep in a tent?

Did you have a first-time experience like shooting a bow and arrow or paddling a canoe?

For most, your best summer ever was probably a combination of all of these—some exploration, education, activities and lots of fun!

MetroWest YMCA camp programs provide a fun and unique experience that gives children and teens the opportunity to explore the outdoors, meet new friends, keep their minds and bodies active, discover new interests and create memories that last a lifetime. The MetroWest YMCA Summer Day Camp offers camps for kid’s ages 3-16, all summer long.

“Summer camp provides a variety of opportunities to ensure that youth are learning and being physically active in the summer,” said Kelley Ratcliffe, Camp Director, “Campers learn how to be responsible and resourceful, work in groups, solve problems and make decisions that will help them grow as individuals—all while having fun and feeling like they belong. We want every camper to start school telling their friends that they had the best summer ever.”

The Y believes the top 5 benefits of attending summer camp are:

1. ADVENTURE: Summer camp is all about a wide variety of new experiences and exploring the outdoors. Y camps offer many adventure activities for every child and teen.

2. HEALTHY FUN: Day camps offer fun, stimulating activities that engage the body and mind, and also help children and teens learn the importance of nutrition to help improve their healthy eating habits.

3. PERSONAL GROWTH: While in the welcoming environment of camp, youth are encouraged to learn new skills, and develop confidence and independence by taking on new responsibilities and challenges. Camps offer cognitive learning and social-emotional development opportunities for achievement.

4. FRIENDSHIPS: Amidst the fun of camp games, songs, swimming, canoeing and talent shows, campers meet new friends and strengthen existing friendships. The bonds formed at camp are important and lasting for many youth.

5. MEMORIES: Summer camp is an unforgettable experience that will give each camper memories (and camp traditions) that will last a lifetime. Kids return to school with plenty of camp stories to share!

A leading local nonprofit committed to nurturing the potential of youth, the MetroWest Y has been a leader in providing summer camp to our youth and their parents for 60 years. The Y strives to give youth an enriching, safe experience with caring staff and volunteers who model positive values that help build their kids’ character.

Registration for the 2017 Summer Camp season is going on now. And, to ensure that all youth have the chance to experience camp, the Y offers financial assistance to those in need.

MetroWest YMCA camps at a glance:

 Camp Dates: June 19 to August 25 Monday-Friday, full day & half day camps

 Transportation: Busing from 13 surrounding towns (Hopkinton Camp only)

 Extended Day: Available in both Framingham and Hopkinton, beginning at 7 a.m. and closing at 6p.m.

 Swimming: The Y’s camps offer both instructional and recreational swim times for campers.

 Field trips, traditional camp activities, STEM, volunteer projects, teen leadership opportunities and more.

 Financial assistance is available through Y ASSIST programs and funds raised by our generous donors and volunteers.

For more information, visit www.metrowestymca.org/summercamps or contact Kelley Ratcliffe, Summer Camp Director at 508.435.9345 x101

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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